Made in the immediate aftermath of WWII, this German language film focuses on the atrocities committed at the Oranienburg concentration camp and the prisoner of war camp that replaced it, Sachsenhausen. The facility was preserved post-war as a museum and memorial. The film begins with images of the camp grounds, barracks, guard towers, barbed wire fences and stockades. At 3:10 a sign proclaims "Prisoner of War Camp". At 3:45 footage shot after the liberation of the camp shows a barracks crowded with female prisoners. At 4:00, photographs of emaciated prisoners reveal the full horror of the camp's conditions. At 4:26 stacks of bodies are shown in a yard. At 4:43, torture techniques are demonstrated and at 5:25 a noose hangs in a yard. Dozens of notches attest to its use. At 6:00 the concentration camp's hospital is seen, where various inhumane experiments were undertaken on prisoners. At 6:46 a re-enacment of one of these experiments is shown, and then heaps of bodies. At 7:30 a gas chamber is shown, along with typed documents revealing how the fates of many individuals were tracked. At 8:45 crematoriums are shown with open doors, left as they were found by liberating troops. At 9:22 the smokestack looms over the site. At 9:36 heaps of shoes are shown, possessions of those who perished at the camp, as well as human hair at 10:09 and heaps of clothes at 10:27. At 10:44 a pit which might be a mass grave is shown. At 11:29 heaps of ashes and human bone fragments are shown. Oranienburg concentration camp was an early German concentration camp, one of the first detention facilities established by the Nazis when they gained power in 1933. It held the political opponents of German National Socialist party from the Berlin region, mostly members of the Communist Party of Germany and social-democrats, as well as a number of homosexual men and scores of the so-called undesirables. It was established in the center of the town of Oranienburg on the main road to Berlin when the SA took over a disused factory.Prisoners were marched through the town to perform forced labour on behalf of the local council.The prison was taken over by the SS on 4 July 1934. It was subsequently replaced in the area by Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1936. Sachsenhausen or Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. After World War II, when Oranienburg was in the Soviet Occupation Zone, the structure was used as an NKVD special camp until 1950 (See NKVD special camp Nr. 7). The camp ground with the remaining buildings is now open to the public as a museum. At least 30,000 inmates died in Sachsenhausen from causes such as exhaustion, disease, malnutrition and pneumonia, as a result of the poor living conditions. Many were executed or died as the result of brutal medical experimentation. Over the course of its operation, over 100 Dutch resistance fighters were executed at Sachsenhausen. The Dutch subsequently sought the extradition from Czechoslovakia of Antonín Zápotocký, who became President of Czechoslovakia, for his alleged role in the murder of Dutch prisoners during his time as a kapo at the camp. Many women were among the inmates of Sachsenhausen and its subcamps. According to SS files, more than 2,000 women lived in Sachsenhausen, guarded by female SS staff (Aufseherin). Camp records show that there was one male SS soldier for every ten inmates and for every ten male SS there was a woman SS. Several subcamps for women were established in Berlin, including in Neukölln.Towards the end of the war, 13,000 Red Army POWs arrived at Sachsenhausen. Over 10,000 were executed in the camp by being shot in the back of the neck through a hidden hole in a wall while being measured for a uniform. Their bodies were then incinerated in a crematorium.With the advance of the Red Army in the spring of 1945, Sachsenhausen was prepared for evacuation. On 20–21 April the camp's SS staff ordered 33,000 inmates on a forced march northwest. Most of the prisoners were physically exhausted and thousands did not survive this death march; those who collapsed en route were shot by the SS. The march ended near Raben Steinfeld on 02 May, when 18,000 remaining prisoners were liberated by tanks of the 2nd Belorussian Front. On 22 April 1945 the camp's remaining 3,000 inmates were liberated by the Red Army and the Polish Army's 2nd Infantry Division.This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com
June 13, 2022 Subject:
In the nine years of its existence, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (including all satellite camps and outstations) claimed the lives of about 22,000 male prisoners. In view of the fact that approximately 140,000 male deportees were sent (and registered) to this camp, this means that 15.7% of the prisoners perished. Compared to prison camps of other states, other wars and other times, such a percentage is unfortunately nothing extraordinary.
This number does not comprise the female detainees who died in the satellite camps and the Soviet POWs who perished from “natural causes” or were shot. The real number of these victims deserves further research. It bears mentioning that 533 prisoners were killed during Allied air raids in 1944/1945. After the Auer factories at Oranienburg had been bombed on 15 March 1945, the dead bodies of 282 female prisoners were retrieved. However, these tragic losses do not even remotely justify the propagandistic figure of 100,000 victims. As to the number of prisoners who perished during the evacuation of the camp (the inmates were marched away in various columns), the existing information is very incomplete. Obviously these deaths cannot be ascribed to the conditions in the camp. Just like the German refugees who died on their flight from the Eastern provinces to the West, these victims succumbed to the horrible conditions prevailing as a consequence of the invasion and conquest of Germany. https://codoh.com/library/document/the-number-of-victims-of-sachsenhausen/en/